Hard, yes, and also an opportunity to return to my heart and to make a choice about how to live my life. Every month on the 26th, the date of my mother’s unexpected death, I have paused throughout the day, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes involuntarily and just noted to myself, “My mother has died, I can’t call her now”. I feel a twinge of sorrow that I cant share my day with her, a feeling of panic at the boredom from not calling her, something to occupy my monkey-mind as I drive.
But a big anniversary is on the way: her birthday on May 28, her would-be-but-won’t-be 89th birthday. I feel the need to honor that day more intentionally. I intend to take that day off and to work at home to make this house more of a home than it is — you know, tidy it up, decorate it, arrange things so I can find them easily and make the house ready to do what almost never happened in my house growing up — invite folks over. I doubt I will feel ready to invite folks here on the 28th but maybe I will skype a friend or two and show the house. Good Lord, why do I feel so very scared to invite people here? So unable to make a house into a home?
Mom did not know how to do that: though I absorbed from growing up with her practices like “getting to it later” — meaning never, of course; “letting the dishes soak for a while”, meaning from thanksgiving to Christmas when she needed the better dishes again; “I could clean it up in 10 minutes or so”; meaning I won’t do it and it will take days of work. “O, I don’t really mind” meaning I am numb.
But enough: this sounds suspiciously like complaining and blaming. Yes, that is what I saw and lived in growing up and I am choosing to grow up still and now.
No more “getting to it later”. No more, “I don’t really mind”. Thanks, Mom, for teaching me a lesson I choose now not to imitate. Part of your legacy will be my making my house into a home, even if you never did it for yourself. On May 28th, I’ll be at my home, nesting, making it a place easy for me to live and work in and welcoming to others. To love you.
Thanks for it all. Thanks for what I want to imitate and what I don’t. It’s all lessons.